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Moving down the Smart Manufacturing Highway

By kruti bharadva,

Added 27 May 2021

Sridhar Dharmarajan, EVP & MD, Hexagon India and MSC Software IndoPACIFIC, takes us through the latest in smart manufacturing and sustainability solutions

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Briefly describe for us Hexagon’s presence and business activities in India – in particular the sectors it caters to

Hexagon is a global leader in sensor, software and autonomous solutions. We are putting data to work to boost efficiency, productivity, and quality across industrial, manufacturing, infrastructure, safety, and mobility applications. Our technologies are shaping urban and production ecosystems to become increasingly connected and autonomous – ensuring a scalable, sustainable future.

We have had a strong presence in India since the mid-eighties. Hexagon’s Global Research and Development Centre in India is at the front and centre of innovation in areas such as eMobility, autonomous Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, etc. Currently, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence has centres in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence is enabling the rise of smart factories and Electric Vehicles (EV) with a focus on simulation technologies especially for autonomous vehicle testing.

Hexagon’s Virtual Test Drive (VTD) customer experience centre in Pune is aimed at highlighting and promoting the need for simulation technologies in a digital arena- It utilises CRADLE Software to resolve simulation scenarios and is the perfect toolchain for the development of autonomous vehicles and its relevant environment. It is currently being used for the development of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that create real-world road tests and driver training scenarios.

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence is also the innovation partner of Startup India which held the Enabling Engineering Convergence Startup Challenge in January 2021. The challenge required participants to employ Hexagon’s digital and simulation manufacturing technologies in tasks themed around smart manufacturing, autonomous vehicles, etc.

 

Please describe for us your product portfolios

At its very core, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence creates smart solutions leveraging on data driven smart technologies. All our products employ data to arrive at sustainable and innovative solutions – this includes real time data assessment, continuous learning cycles and connecting departments to ensure intelligent ecosystems where quality drives output. Our products and systems leverage geospatial enterprise solutions and industrial enterprise solutions.

Hexagon’s Metrology solution portfolio division is of industrial capacity to ensure accurate dimensional measurements. As the largest software developer in the metrology industry, we offer customisable and innovative metrology solutions for seamless data acquisition, analysis and management.

SFx Solutions is the latest from Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, which works to connect ecosystems and enhance enterprise intelligence. It is geared towards ensuring seamless autonomous and smart environments.

Hexagon also offers production software as well as design and engineering software. production software utilises simulation technologies to provide solutions for production methods. Whereas the design and engineering software simulates component behaviour to allow the design of quality into products.

 

Hexagon says data is in the company’s DNA. Please describe for us why data is such a powerful tool and how Hexagon leverages this into solutions for the manufacturing sector.

Data is axiomatic for all Hexagon’s solutions, software, and systems. Data is utilised in all aspects ranging from design to engineering, production and metrology. Data utilisation is the most innovative way to make manufacturing smarter.

Hexagon’s software and systems form a digital matrix that is the nexus or DNA that creates solutions throughout the entire manufacturing process. This enables a conceptual, productive, and holistic view of the factory as a whole, thus enhancing quality assurance, productivity and lean processes with machine speed and confidence to achieve the desired outcome.

This nexus or data DNA is what we at Hexagon refer to as the Digital Thread and which is anchored by metrology to improve and enhance the accuracy of operations. The data allows

the formation of interconnected links in the manufacturing ecosystem by capturing quality data for measurement, positioning and inspection.

Hence, data is the nodal point between the real and virtual worlds, transitioning real-world data into the digital domain. Our measurement-assisted production technology is best-in-class, and we continue to innovate towards more real-time feedback loop applications. This then allows us to create a future where data is autonomously employed to drive sustainability and productivity.

 

How is Hexagon contributing towards the Indian manufacturing sector Industry 4.0 and digitalisation drive?

Hexagon is at the vanguard of Industry 4.0 as our solutions and services focus on smart and connected systems, in particular simulation technologies. Smart cities are our future, not our present. Hence, the need for simulation technologies that will allow us to arrive at a fully functional digital future, well equipped to handle all eventualities and drive unprecedented levels of manufacturing competence.

Thus, design and engineering at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence is focused on embedding quality into product D&E. Our software solutions, including simulation software, facilitates the exploration of prototypes without the need for physical manifestations that can be a drain in resources. All our solutions ensure that quality assurance is maintained in component manufacturing and productivity, including factoring in a huge number of variables that can affect downstream manufacturing processes. Our computer-aided engineering (CAE) software allows for optimisation that drives innovation, product quality and efficiency throughout the manufacturing process.

Hexagon smart manufacturing technologies unlock and enhance the potential of Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs) and systems, which is at the core of all smart factories. CMMs integrate metrology hardware and software capabilities that allow for automation of cross-sectional measurement, quality assurance, inspection capacity, and productivity5. Digitalisation allows for real-time data and intuitive navigation via Hexagon’s HxGN SFx Asset Management System; fully automating measurement jobs with Hexagon’s TEMPO and EYE-D; and even monitoring environmental variations with Haexagon’s Pulse Wireless device.

By having CMM enhanced smart factories, Hexagon will raise the Indian manufacturing sector to unprecedented global levels. Our technology is helping manufacturers to pioneer mechanisms to inform design and engineering processes and provide feedback to the

production process. By driving both profitability and sustainability, the seamless automation and digitalisation of routine tasks will increase efficiency and make manufacturing smarter. India has the potential for long-term competitiveness and sustainability which in turn will solidify its position as a global manufacturing hub

 

Sustainability is the need of the hour. How do your solutions help drive sustainability?

All of Hexagon’s technologies and solutions are about being scalable and sustainable – we believe that this is the true future of humanity. Digital innovation is driving emergent technologies, which in turn, are being harnessed to provide scalable and sustainable solutions and services. These are core tenets of business-centred strategies and policies, setting the stage for any organisation’s digital transformation initiative.

Global consumer trends are indicative of change in consumer behaviour that is predicated on sustainable technologies. The global pandemic is a point in case where businesses had to pivot and innovate to survive. Hexagon was able to rise to the challenge by facilitating the manufacturing industry to adapt swiftly to global disruption.

Our agility and focus on innovation ensured that our business transformation was dynamic and fluid, delivering value to all our customers in a global time of need. Data-driven technologies and intelligent software have enabled us to create a future with long-term growth initiatives. For Hexagon, that means an accelerated pace of sustainability centred on the rise of smart connected cities, autonomous Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence. The future will consist of autonomous vehicles, smart manufacturing and connected cities.

All of Hexagon’s solutions are developed with this as the guiding principle, underscored with continuity and best business practices. We adopt a holistic view and practice by driving sustainability throughout the entire value chain. We strive to ensure unparalleled productivity, lean processes and uncompromised efficiency which can only be enabled with smart solutions and simulation technologies6.

For example, the eMobility or electric vehicles sector has seen a huge spike in demand due to the awareness of climate change. Adjacent technologies include autonomous vehicles and smart technologies in automotive innovation, especially in pioneering road-testing capabilities for these disruptive innovators to the automobile industry.

Hexagon’s simulation technology such as the Virtual Test Drive (VTD) software is the best possible solution to such dilemmas, allowing for complete and immersive virtual environments to thoroughly evaluate and validate outcomes. VTD is used to test Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving systems, It can simulate every possible driving condition including ‘black swan events’ or outlier scenarios such as total system faults and terrain undulations in 3D. Hexagon’s system is well-organized in its collection of data, to extract all simulations to compute meaningful performance indexes and more.

Hexagon has also recently founded R-evolution to drive sustainably developed green-tech projects towards a more sustainable future and environment for our planet. Our focus in doing so is to embrace the four foundations of future humanity - Planet, Society, Business, and Technology - and make them sustainable in their growth.

Modern day manufacturing processes touch on multiple industries such as aerospace, automotive, energy, oil & gas, and electronics. Across the spectrum, all these sectors contribute to harmful emissions and environmental pollution. We are also depleting our world’s precious energy and water resources. The only way forward is sustainable development in manufacturing that will increasingly design sustainable processes, products and value chains that won’t compromise future resources.

The advent of Industry 4.0 has seen the rise of the Internet of Things, ‘Big Data’ and AI (Artificial Intelligence). These have driven a digital transformation to optimize both manufactured products and processes, taking product quality, manufacturing productivity, and ultimately sustainability to the next level of the circular economy of renewable product life cycles. Sustainable design and development, thanks to Computer-aided engineering (CAE) simulation, will ensure responsible and sustainable economic benefits for all users. Hexagon is primed to lead the transformational renewables and digital evolution with our sensor, software, simulation, and autonomous smart technologies and solutions.

 

 

 

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